A Place You Can Go To Belong

By Jim Yates
Wednesday - March 24, 2010 Share

By Jim Yates, Chairman
The YMCA of Honolulu

Dana is a 16-year-old high school student who began experimenting with drugs and alcohol. Realizing that her life was going nowhere, she got involved with the YMCA of Honolulu’s outreach program, which teaches young people about the effects of substance abuse through working with kids her age and YMCA counselors.

Through YMCA financial assistance, Lori, a single working mother, has been able to provide her two young sons with after-school care, school-break programs and summer day camp for the last four years.


Thirteen years ago, John underwent quintuple bypass surgery. “I’m grateful to be healthy and alive with my wife Betty of 49 years,” John says today. “We have been homeless for 24 years, and our finances are extremely limited. It is because of the YMCA’s assistance that I get to exercise daily, socialize and know that we are safe and cared for.”

The mission-driven YMCA is “a place to belong” and to live the values that guide and unite our members: caring, honesty, respect and responsibility.

Lori found quality after-school care for her sons with help from the YMCA of Honolulu

For more than 140 years, the YMCA has been providing life-changing and life-saving opportunities for kids and adults through after-school, teen leadership, summer day camp, swimming and water safety, and health and wellness programs.

In order to serve people like Dana, Lori, John and Betty, the YMCA of Honolulu’s Strong Communities Annual Support Campaign, a volunteer-driven effort, solicits contributions to support outreach programs and provides financial assistance to children, teens, adults, seniors and families who need it most. Our goal is to raise $900,000 to provide financial assistance for people from all income levels in order to participate in YMCA programs, as well as to subsidize much-needed and under-funded youth and teen programs.


My commitment to this organization continues because I sincerely believe that the YMCA’s theme of “building strong kids, strong families and strong communities” represents a key cornerstone for any vibrant and sustainable community. I’ve also personally witnessed the sound stewardship that is exercised over the money that we raise for the organization, with 100 percent of funds staying here on Oahu.

Few things are more important than a healthy lifestyle, strong community, positive role models and quality time spent together as a family. For more information on the YMCA, go to www.ymcahonolulu.org or call 531-YMCA (531-9622).


Hawaii charitable organizations may send requests for space in either Proof Positive or the free advertisement below to dchapman@midweek.com.

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